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ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

December 2007

They Demonstrate How GIS Technology Helped Them during the California Firestorms

U.S. Marines Host GIS Day Event

Many people watched on television or read on the Internet or in newspapers about the wildfires that swept through Southern California in October. Caught in the midst of the crisis were the Marines at Camp Pendleton, whose base north of Oceanside was located near the raging fires. The Marines used GIS software to make sense of the constantly-changing situation, enabling them to protect people and property. The amazing technology was displayed for Marines, officers, and their families during the GIS Day event at Camp Pendleton on November 14, 2007.

"GIS Day is a way to educate people on our services," said Alexandra Hall, business analyst for GeoFidelis West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. "We wanted to show them the importance of GIS and how we can help Marines every day."

GIS Day attendees learned about the benefits of GIS and what it means to Camp Pendleton; viewed maps of the base and recent fire activity; and witnessed work being done by the common operational picture (COP) viewer, the base's live satellite feed that many of the commanders used to make important decisions regarding the fires and how to best fight them.

Tours of the server room highlighted the importance of data storage, and the GPS demonstration allowed attendees to experience collecting data points firsthand. People left with a general understanding of GIS and a map they made using ArcMap, a component of Esri's ArcGIS software, at the "Create Your Own Map" station.

Camp Pendleton's GIS Day celebration was a perfect venue for both new and existing customers. "We wanted to show the typical war fighter on base what we can do for them and how we can help them on a daily basis; We think we achieved our goal," said Hall. Learn more.

For more information about GIS Day events held around the world, visit the GIS Day Web site and read success stories. Better yet, submit one of your own.

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